Risk factors for Violence-Related Injuries in Emergency Departments: A Danish Linkage Study

Siobhan Murphy, Marie Kruse, Ask Elklit, Ole Brink

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Abstract

Background: Interpersonal violence is a pervasive global public health problem associated with myriad health, social and economic consequences. In recent years the rates of interpersonal violence have decreased, however, high numbers of individuals continue to present to emergency departments for non-fatal violence-related injuries.

Objective: This study aimed to examine a range of risk factors associated with violence-related injuries in an emergency department in Denmark.

Method: A case-control study was conducted on a sample of 3,940 victims of violence collected by the Accident Analysis Center for Aarhus County Municipality. Using the Danish Civil Registry System, controls were matched 10:1 on age, gender and municipality. Risk factors were rendered from Danish health and social registers five years prior to the violent assault. These included marital status, educational qualification, employment status, national origin, involvement with child protective services (CPS), prior convictions, and a diagnosis of adjustment disorder and alcohol and/or substance use disorders.

Results: Multivariate logistic regression identified that being male, divorced, unmarried, non-Danish origin, attending compulsory education, being outside the labour force, students, involvement with CPS, prior criminal conviction and a diagnosis of alcohol and/or substance use disorders were associated with an increased likelihood of being exposed to violence. The dominant risk factors were alcohol and/or substance use disorders (OR = 3.62) and prior criminal conviction (OR = 3.54). Attainment of tertiary education was associated with a reduced likelihood of being a victim of violence.

Conclusion: These findings highlight that research into effective interventions offered in emergency departments may help the public health effort to reduce the health, social and economic burden of interpersonal violence.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1606627
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Psychotraumatology
Volume10
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 May 2019

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